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Touching The Void, Review.

925 words - 4 pages

Timeline in view of Assessment Task:


by Isabella Sanasi

Touching the Void is a 106 minute docudrama film, that pulls us to the very edge of life and death as we join Joe Simpson and Simon Yates in their epic fight for survival During their 6344 metre climb of mountain, Siula Grande. 17 years after their climb filmmaker Kevin MacDonald retold their legendary story using a range of film techniques and documentary conventions to not only provide a clear demonstration of the docudrama genre, for students and teaching purposes, but also to create the ultimate cliff hanging experience.

Joe and Simon set out with optimistic spirits, unaware of what was laying ahead. As a result of Joe suffering a broken leg he was lowered down the mountain but instead ended up dangling in the middle of a gigantic crevasse. When Simon gets no signal from Joe, except for the dead weight at the bottom of his rope, he cuts it, unaware that his decision would be subject to one of the most controversial moral issues in the mountaineering community's history.

Through out the film we get to know the characters, Joe, Simon and Richard through the use of talking heads and voice-overs. Hearing each of the characters first hand made the story more credible as it rules out the possibility of bias and unreliable information. This trust was taken to another level through the use of such honest and confronting language, an example being when Simon said, "the thought did cross my mind to make up a story to make myself look better." Voice-overs such as this allowed the audience to see eye to eye with characters, giving viewers a much better understanding of the situation they were in.

One of the fantastic things about this film is the way that film techniques are used to convey emotions and create dramatic tension, constantly keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. From the very start of the film eerie sound effects, suspenseful music and a montage of landscape footage were used to increase the dramatic tension and foreshadow danger. "It was all just a lot of fun. And then it wasn't", voice overs and talking heads with short powerful sentences, such as this, were used a lot in the opening scene to capture the audiences attention and heighten the sense of drama ultimately positioning the audience for a dramatic factual film, or docudrama.

On arrival at the summit, the use of...

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